The recent outbreak and spread of coronavirus has sent shockwaves through world markets and underscores just how interconnected we are in this age of global supply chains and mass travel.
The ASX has shown signs of vulnerability, with major players such as Qantas down as much as 20% since the start of the outbreak, and markets still on edge for further flow-on effects.
So, with travel down, and the supply potentially affected, how much do you need to prepare and make contingency plans for your small business? Major governmental and nongovernment bodies emphasise that the crisis is far from something to panic over, and so far the response and adaptation internationally has been heartening.
Examine your supply chain for direct connections to mainland China, and it may be worth considering how to keep things running if those particular elements are cut off or run low in supply. For most of us with businesses directly relying on Chinese supply, that will be an urgent and specific issue to keep track of. But there’s also the indirect effect of a general slowdown affecting your bottom line, efficiency of delivery and cash reserves.
Back to the news. Some products expected in early 2020 have delayed. Companies, including Apple, have been confirming their supply chain has been affected by Coronavirus, affecting all kinds of tech products. Apple has been the first to officially recognise this impact but you can bet they’re not the only ones.
What should you do about it? Keep your products and systems in good shape, and if your depreciation schedule is telling you it’s time to upgrade, don’t throw out the old ones until the new one’s have arrived! If you have any concerns about the health of your system or devices, we’re here to help you get the most out of them.
There are also phishing scams a plenty around Coronavirus. Scammers pose as health officials, asking you to log into other sites. Businesses who host their own email and access it via old school IMAP (or even POP!) are vulnerable to such attacks as their spam filters are less powerful than those used by white label email services such as gmail and outlook 365. Talk to us about modernising your email, but in the meantime, rather than clicking a suspicious link, copy and paste it into your browser’s search bar and see if the domain matches the advertised link.
This event – so far – gives us a good opportunity to examine our systems and prepareness for untoward events, while falling short of worst-case scenarios. Use it to stress-test, and let’s hope it all fizzles out soon.